Systems & Synthetic Biology, Bachelor of Science College of Biological Sciences

The Major Program

The Systems & Synthetic Biology major provides students with a broad understanding of these two related and interdisciplinary fields. Systems Biology aims to understand how complex organismal properties and structures arise from simple components and interactions, and to identify design principles common to many types of biological regulation. Synthetic Biology focuses on the modification (or, ultimately, de novo construction) of organisms to generate novel pathways and processes. This major emphasizes integrative, computational and quantitative approaches to solving biological problems and engineering new biological outcomes.

The Program

In the freshman and sophomore years, students majoring in Systems & Synthetic Biology build a broad scientific background, taking courses in chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics as well as an introduction course to computing for biologists. As juniors or seniors, students can enroll in courses that introduce them to the fundamental principles in mathematics, computer science, systems theory and application, and biological engineering.

Career Alternatives

The biotech workforce has a growing demand for biologists that are fluent in different merging disciplines that are covered by the Systems and Synthetic Biology Major. This combination of skills will allow graduates to work at the interface between biologists and engineers found in new emerging industries related to the pharmaceutical, biomedical, bioenergy, agricultural, nutrition, and microbiome industries. The program is also an excellent background for students wishing to enter graduate or other professional schools, including medicine, law, journalism or policy Honors & Honors Programs. Refer to the Academic Information section and the appropriate College section for Dean's Honors List information.

Faculty Advisor

Siobhan Brady, Ph.D.

Preparatory Subject Matter
Biological Sciences 17
Introduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth
and Introduction to Biology: Principles of Ecology & Evolution
and Introduction to Biology: Biodiversity & the Tree of Life
Introduction to Data Science for Biologists
Chemistry 21-27
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry
and General Chemistry
General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
and General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
and General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
and Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
and Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
and Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
Calculus for Biology & Medicine
and Calculus for Biology & Medicine
and Calculus for Biology & Medicine
and Calculus
and Calculus (Recommended)
General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal58-68
Depth Subject Matter
Applied Statistics for Biological Sciences
Advanced Applied Statistics for the Biological Sciences
Genes & Gene Expression
Biochemistry, Bioenergetics, & Metabolism3-6
Structure & Function of Biomolecules
and Bioenergetics & Metabolism
Biomolecules & Metabolism
Cell Biology3
Cell Biology
Systems Biology2
Systems Biology: From Biological Circuits to Biological Systems (Discontinued)
Biomolecular Systems Engineering4
Biomolecular Systems Engineering: Synthetic Biology
Systems & Synthetic Biology5
Systems & Synthetic Biology Lab
Restricted Electives
Choose three or more upper division courses not used to satisfy another requirement; 9 unit minimum:9
Probability & Stochastic Processes with Applications to Biology
Genomics Laboratory
Functional Genomics
Introductory Microbiology
Introductory Microbiology Laboratory
Recombinant DNA Cloning & Analysis (Discontinued)
Analysis of Molecular Genetic Circuits (Discontinued)
Yeast Molecular Genetics
Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Laboratory Associated Lecture
Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Laboratory
Advanced Molecular Biology
Behavior & Analysis of Enzyme & Receptor Systems
Macromolecular Structure & Function
Plant Biochemistry
Principles of Genetics Laboratory
Advanced Eukaryotic Genetics
Principles of Genomics
Kinetics & Bioreactor Design
Probability & Data Science for Biomedical Engineers
Modeling Strategies for Biomedical Engineering
Protein Engineering
Protein Engineering Laboratory
Molecular Control of Biosystems
Applied Bioinformatics
Principles of Plant Biotechnology
Plant Genetics & Biotechnology Laboratory
Depth Subject Matter Total38-41
Total Units96-109